Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports A memo to the publisher (either to the next owner of Indian Country or to any news operation that’s going to serve that readership now.) First question you have got to ask yourself is “Why?” Why are you doing this?” Odds are you will lose (or my word, invest) a …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Nearly every Native American journalist in the country can tell you what our national media ought to look like. We’ve all closed our eyes and dreamt the ideal news vehicle. We know what stories need to be told. And some of us have tried to make that dream so. Most …

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The year was 1977. I was editor of the Sho-Ban News and Idaho’s Gov. Cecil Andrus had recently been named by President Jimmy Carter as Secretary of the Interior. If I remember right, this interview took place in his Boise office. Andrus was a politician who gave clear answers and was a great storyteller. I remember our …

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Trahant Reports The September Mess has started early. Congress will return to Washington next week facing some really tricky issues ranging from an increase in the debt limit to spending money so that the federal government can operate. President Donald J. Trump in Phoenix raised the stakes, saying he would favor a shutdown of the …

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*** Updated to include new candidate, maps. Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports I have been avoiding politics. Last year I was consumed by dozens of races across the country, building data bases, checking names, and generally being enthusiastic. Now? Well, this year, I have been absorbed by the Republican plans to rewrite the Affordable Care …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports The Trump presidency ended yesterday. “… Not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me. Not all of those people were white supremacists, by any stretch. Those people were also there because they wanted to protest the taking down of a statue, Robert E. Lee,” Donald J. Trump said.  “I’m …

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One-party government? Get real. Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports September is going to be a mess. Congress must sort out some really complicated fiscal issues. There is the budget, an increase in the debt limit, how much to spend on federal programs and services, and, if there’s time, tax reform. This should be easy in …

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The budget story I’d like to post around Labor Day. There will be no action until Congress returns. Lots of questions for Indian programs — especially if there is a budget. (The flip side of that is a Continuing Resolution. Or, more of the same.) Energy disruption story is long range. Reporting now. Health care. …

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A fundamental question about government Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports The most fundamental question about government is this: Does it work? When does government — tribal, state or federal — actually make a difference in our lives? There are two ways to answer that question, data and story. Data tells what happens over time, a reference …

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